Questions tagged [cleaning]

For questions relating to the removal of dirt, debris and other unwanted foreign material from various surfaces and porous materials, including methods, tools and supplies, and expected results.

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26 votes
12 answers
7k views

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

When I drill into concrete, stone or similar materials - a lot of dust gets scattered. I realize this might sound like a newbie/trivial question, but - how can I avoid this? Both dust getting on me, ...
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  • 2,405
24 votes
28 answers
177k views

How do I remove polyurethane spray foam from my hands?

I should have worn gloves but sadly I didn't. Now I have yellow stuff all over my hands. I got most of the stickiness to go away by using WD-40. Is there anything that will get this off without giving ...
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  • 3,179
23 votes
11 answers
23k views

What should we look for when buying a fixer-upper house?

My fiance and I are considering buying a fixer-upper house rather than an apartment when we get married. Obviously things like location, neighbors etc. are important, but; what should we be looking ...
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22 votes
5 answers
5k views

Central Vacuuming: Is it worth it, and how does it compare to normal vacuuming?

I am in the process of buying a brand new home in the US through a builder. The home will be approximately 3,000 sq ft and I was given the option of buying a central vacuuming system for the house. ...
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17 votes
7 answers
4k views

Ok to put bleach in toilet tank?

My toilet's tank has a lot of dark brown scum growing on the walls. I assume it's some kind of mold or bacteria. The water itself isn't cloudy, but when you flush, some of the scum comes loose and ...
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  • 281
16 votes
6 answers
855 views

Is it worthwhile to have ductwork cleaned?

Was rearranging some ductwork in my basement, and noticed that the stuff I took down was pretty filthy inside (especially the return air ducts). Is it worthwhile to have ductwork cleaned out? What ...
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15 votes
4 answers
19k views

How do I clean vinyl siding without a pressure washer?

My vinyl siding is turning green from mildew and I have to clean it up this weekend. I let a friend borrow my pressure washer at the beginning of the summer, and he's out of the country for awhile. ...
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14 votes
8 answers
39k views

In layman's terms how much pressure is 4000 psi?

4000 psi sounds like a lot. That's what some pressure washers can go up to. Just how much pressure is that? What are some real world examples that would help explain that kind of pressure?
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14 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why do many construction projects leave so many nails behind?

I just had a significant amount of work done on my house and the contractors left lots of nails scattered around my yard. I have a two-part question: Is this typical? If it's typical, why is it the ...
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  • 476
14 votes
2 answers
84k views

How should I clean and repaint a painted wooden deck?

My deck appears to have been painted with just a single layer of paint, which is now peeling off. I like the look of the paint (when it's in better condition, of course), and am uninterested in ...
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  • 293
12 votes
15 answers
4k views

How to drain a toilet bowl?

I want to clean a stained porcelain toilet bowl. It feels like a small crusty coral reef right at the bottom in the water, visible to anyone looking down. I suspect its like calcium/lime but this is ...
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  • 7,277
12 votes
1 answer
4k views

How to clean a burnt wall socket?

I had a dishwasher plugged into the wall. The dishwasher plug has always been a little iffy but we have never had a problem with it before. It shorted while the dishwasher was running and I caught it ...
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  • 231
12 votes
7 answers
20k views

How to clean rusty grill grates?

Accidentally left grill grates outside during the winter and rust built up. Tried to search online and ask at Lowe's, but didn't find a good solution. What worked for you?
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  • 607
12 votes
7 answers
2k views

How do I clean stainless steel?

We have just finished building a house and we have some small stains on a stainless steel door handle. I was wondering what was the best way to remove them? Unfortunately I'm not sure what's caused ...
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  • 121
11 votes
6 answers
3k views

Best way to clean up nails after demolition?

I have a small wooden shed in my back yard that needs to be torn down, and for the most part, I can handle it fine. However, I have one concern about the cleanup afterwards: how can I make sure the ...
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  • 313
11 votes
8 answers
133k views

How to fix stinky bathroom sink?

It smells like really musty water, but the water itself does not smell or taste bad at all. Only happens when I run the water, so it doesn't make the room smell, just when you fill something up or ...
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  • 375
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a home made solution that will clean drains?

Not sure if this counts as "Home Improvement", but it's worth a shot: I'm currently in an apartment where I'm not supposed to use chemicals to clear drains, like in the sink/tub. I've cleared out ...
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11 votes
1 answer
11k views

How to remove/clean black mold?

What is the best way to remove black mold from wood? Specifically, the mold on my back porch is black mold. Is the best option to use something like Kilz over it?
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  • 921
10 votes
15 answers
100k views

How do I remove stuck (melted?) foam from under carpet on hardwood floor?

We just bought a house with lovely bright pink carpeting over hardwood floors, and tore it all up. The foam underneath was multi-colored, and the black spots appear to have melted to the floor. It's ...
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9 votes
10 answers
22k views

How do I get leftover tape stickiness off of plastic surfaces?

Okay...there's kind of a long story behind it, but I have left-over stickiness on the front of my alarm clock because it was bright, and I didn't notice a switch on it. It's from scotch tape that's ...
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9 votes
4 answers
16k views

What are the red streaks in my toilet occasionally?

What are the red streaks in my toilet occasionally? It seems to come from where the water flows when flushing and go around the bowl. Sometimes settling in the bottom where the little bit of water ...
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  • 3,179
9 votes
8 answers
56k views

How do I clean a very dirty refrigerator?

I just got a new house and inherited a very moldy and mildewy refrigerator. My first though it to get some cleaning spray with bleach and just go to town, but I'm worried the bleach might damage the ...
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  • 1,280
9 votes
6 answers
125k views

How often should I run a bleach and water solution through condensate lines?

How often do you need to run a bleach and water solution through the condensate drain lines (of a heat pump) to keep the bacteria away? What are the recommended parts (e.g. 1 part bleach, 10 part ...
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  • 3,179
9 votes
5 answers
41k views

How do I remove moss from an outdoor brick walkway?

I've got a brick walkway that has parts that are in shade most of the day. Our winters are wet and cloudy and during these times it's not uncommon for the shady parts of the walkway to grow a fair ...
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9 votes
3 answers
62k views

Is there a way to remove condensation and clean inside a double pane window?

I have some double pane windows with failed seals. They get condensation inside. When it dries it leaves unsightly residue that I can't figure out how to clean off. I know that I could replace ...
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9 votes
2 answers
4k views

How can I get the 2-part epoxy smell out of concrete?

Six months ago or more, my friend used a 2-part epoxy (no longer have the packaging, but it's a double-syringe with clear liquids, purchased at Home Hardware) on something, and some of it (one or both ...
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  • 191
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I remove a moisture mark from a wooden table?

I have a white mark on my wooden dining table that was caused by a potted plant sitting there for too long without a saucer. Attempts to clean it off have been futile because it seems not to be a ...
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  • 1,135
8 votes
7 answers
60k views

Is marijuana smoke worse for your house than tobacco smoke?

I live in Oregon, USA, and the state has recently legalized marijuana. I have a tenant who smokes daily. I've visited a few times and the home always smells of pot. I know how tobacco smoke can ...
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  • 1,025
8 votes
2 answers
11k views

How can I get stains out of a pine table?

I have a light pine dining table. After we got married, we left an orchid from the wedding on the table while we went on honeymoon, giving it a bit of water before we went. Didn't realise the pot wasn'...
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8 votes
2 answers
5k views

How can I remove the residue that is building up in PEX tubing?

I have a pex plumbing system that has been slowly clogging / losing pressure. Our sulphur treatment system injects peroxide into the pressure tank then flows upstairs to the filter system. The ...
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  • 81
7 votes
11 answers
27k views

Is there a quick way to clean up walnuts from a yard?

I'm renting a house and it has a walnut tree in the yard which has started dropping hundreds of walnuts all over the place. Picking them up by hand seems like it'd be messy and very slow. Is there a ...
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  • 263
7 votes
7 answers
23k views

How to clean rust in hard to reach points on a tool?

I have a cheap tool with some rust on it. It's probably cheaper to buy a new one than to clean it. But I wonder if is there any solution where I can drop it and retrieve it clean. Is there anything ...
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7 votes
2 answers
928 views

Removed front closet doors and hardwood below is a different color

After removing the door rails on this closet, the hardwood underneath is quite different. Is there any way of "fixing" it or getting it close to the rest of the flooring? Any advice would be ...
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  • 235
7 votes
5 answers
22k views

What is the best way to remove dried egg from a house?

Some troglodytes egg my house anywhere from every 1-6 months, and have been doing so for the last four years. They just did it again tonight, so I have a fresh supply of drying egg to now remove. My ...
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  • 181
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can old concrete fragments be cleaned and used as crushed stone?

Suppose I need to replace old concrete on a driveway or in any similar scenario. The usual way is to just gather all the old concrete and dispose it to a landfill, then buy cement, sand and crushed ...
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  • 9,367
7 votes
5 answers
90k views

How do I get rid of mold from the bottom of a bath mat (where the suction cups are)?

We have a bathmat that we use to line the tub when we bathe our daughter. After the bath, we remove the mat and suction it to the shower wall (which is some sort of frosted glass) I've noticed black ...
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  • 4,282
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I remove tiny dust particles from the air?

As a basic prep step before I painted, I sanded some of my walls. Later, I cleaned the area and swept up any visible dust particles. Now however, a member of my family is having difficulty breathing ...
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  • 476
7 votes
9 answers
23k views

How do I remove an oil stain from my concrete driveway?

Anyone have tips for removing oil stains from a concrete unpaved driveway? The spill was from a leaking car, now fixed, and they are a few months old. There are so many products and spurious reviews ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I remove a coffee stain from carpet?

Recently a cup of coffee was spilled on the carpeting of our home. We tried to get the stain out with a chemical solvent to no avail, and called in the experts. Unfortunately due to our preprocessing, ...
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  • 373
7 votes
2 answers
8k views

Spray bottle w/ vinegar solution...eventually makes spray bottle not work...why?

I bought two spray bottles intending on using it for cleaning solutions. I filled one with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution for household cleaning. After a few weeks of use, the pumping action on the ...
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  • 4,282
7 votes
5 answers
509 views

How do I address a bedbug infestation?

This bug problem is really stressing me out. I doubt they are bedbugs though because there aren't a lot. I remove 3-8 from my bed a day, and I've read that bedbugs are present in much greater numbers. ...
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Easy way to get crayon out of grout?

My daughter decided to get a little artistic in the bathroom and colored the grout with yellow crayon. Does anyone have a simple way to clean this out?
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7 votes
3 answers
20k views

How do I remove (food) oil stain from a wood table?

Spilled some oily salad dressing on a wood table that was not varnished or sealed in any way. Not sure the type of wood - it almost looks like teak, but I don't believe it is. We used water on the ...
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  • 291
6 votes
3 answers
575 views

How do I clean a 96-gallon automated trash can?

The town provides us one of those automated trash collection 96-gallon trash cans. Ours really stinks... you do not want to be down wind from it in the summer. I have been avoiding cleaning it for ...
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  • 8,062
6 votes
6 answers
11k views

What is the best way to clean toilet bowl stains?

Bought a house a little over a year ago and it was previously a foreclosure and sat for a while. Because of that, it hadn't been cleaned for a while and developed some stains around the water line in ...
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6 votes
4 answers
24k views

Are there any side effects of using sodium hydroxide as a mold-cleaner in the shower?

I've tried using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to clean mold (mould) in the shower before on a patch test area, and it worked really well. This simply involves using drain cleaner (with gloves, open window ...
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  • 231
6 votes
6 answers
56k views

How can I remove graffiti from painted walls?

How do I remove graffiti (spray paint and permanent marker) from a wall previously painted with oil-base paint (or perhaps nitro paint - not sure) without damaging the original paint? I've seen a ...
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  • 9,367
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I treat mold and mildew in shower grout?

I have a tiled shower in an older house, and it's been a struggle to keep the grout clear of mold and mildew. I'm planning on installing a bathroom vent to prevent future buildup, but in the meantime,...
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6 votes
2 answers
9k views

How long can I leave a paint brush and roller sleeve submerged in water without damaging them?

I'm painting my fence (with water based paint) and have more to do tomorrow. How long can I leave the paint brush in water until it's likely to be damaged? I think it's a synthetic bristled one. ...
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6 votes
3 answers
22k views

Is there a way to make toilet porcelain dirt and stain resistant?

I'm sure this problem is present all around the world as toilet brushes are ubiquitous in every toilet I've ever been to. But this is the 21st century, there must be a better solution! Is there a ...
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